The Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute is led by world-renowned scientist, Dr. Michael Houghton. Dr. Houghton is an international leader in viral hepatitis. In 1989, his USA laboratory & collaborators identified the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Successively, he then developed blood tests that have since prevented millions of infections from tainted blood donations around the world. He also has over 40 years of experience in major pharmaceutical companies (Searle, Chiron, Novartis). His work at Chiron Corporation was largely responsible for its growth into the 3rd largest USA biotech in the 1990s, ultimately being acquired by Novartis in 2005.
Along with Dr. Lorne Tyrrell and a team of experts, Dr. Houghton is developing a vaccine against hepatitis C (HCV) through the optimization of both the production of cross-neutralizing antibodies and cross-reactive immune responses to the different HCV genotypes found amongst the human population worldwide. The initiation of clinical trials is anticipated in 2019.